I just received a used wing-lynch 4e. This is a rotary film processor that is setup (in this instance) to do c41 and two types of black and white, The tanks that hold the chems are large (i'd guess 2+ gallons each) lucite boxes that are sealed except for a 1.5" diameter refill area. The tanks are suffering from a good deal of residue and I would love to know if there is a magic bullet for cleaning these things out. The opening is too small for me to scrub so I'm hoping for a solution that will remove the residue w/o damage to the tanks.
The chems used were D76, Tmax RS, Kodak fixer, Kodak Rapid Developer, Bleach and Fix.
Any help is appreciated.
Well you can put some bleach into the developer tanks to clear up the silver deposited out but the sulfur deposits from the fixer is beyond me. Maybe a pound of aquarium gravel and soapy water with vigorous agitation will clean things up.
Kodak used to make something called Developer System Cleaner but I suspect it was nothing more than ferricyanide bleach.
two ideas for you.
1) Doesn't jobo make something for cleaning out their tanks?
2) I once used amonia to clean out the residue on one of my small plastic tanks, it did a good job. I haven't noticed any problems with the tank, or my film since the cleaning, so I would suspect it is ok to use it.
ps, does this mean we are are going to be able to send our film to you for processing now? http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/wink.gif
Aggie, are you thinking about CLR?
Hey, I might be able to find some info for you on that... we use a rebuilt 4E to run E6 with, and all I can say is that you need to be careful cleaning those tanks. A WL is not a Jobo...the tanks have glass heating probes and thermostats in them, and if you break one or even pump the tank too low, you've pretty much ruined them. They ain't cheap--I won't elaborate, but been there/done that-- WL was owned by PSI, although I think someone else is handling them now--at any rate, they used to have this great website, with tech newsletters & such, but the current site doesn't show that stuff....I'd say to contact them for help. There are alot of those machines still in use, and there are also alot of independent shops that service them....about the worst problem with the model 4 and 4Es is that the cabinets are made of formica & , so if they get cracked & wet, they tend to fall apart. The rebuilt ones have a cabinet like the newer model 5s, but only cost about half as much or less.
The tanks are 1 and 1/3 gallons or 5 gallons. There's a line on the bottom that indicates the lowest fill level you can safely run at without cracking the heaters. The line at the top is the max fill level--you don't to go over or under these levels. I'd probably fill it up with water & try to soak them out, before getting too carried away. You'll need the nitrogen tank though to pump the water through. What processes are you planning on running?
Just don't do that gravel thing---I'd like to see you pick up the machine & vigorously shake it though, what, it's about the size of a refrigerator?
I'll be running c41 and b&w chemicals. Which B&W are yet to be determined -- I have tended in the past to use D76 and Microdol-X, but I'm evaluating that now.
The tanks are of the larger variety and yes it would be interesting to see someone fill it with soap and water and shake it.
I also discoverred that WL had changed hands and planed on calling them, but figured with the experience here someone might know a magic formula to make the scum go away.
I checked our manual and some of the old tech support newsletters they put out--it's too bad they're not online anymore--but I'd still say to send them an email or call for tech support. Everytime we've dealt with them, before & after PSI had them, they were really helpful. They pretty much say to clean the tanks out by running several cycles of warm water through them. There are some tips for combatting algae/scum growth in certain tanks, but it seems flusing them out with water is their first suggestion.
We've done this, so that's why I mentioned it.....you pretty much fill them up with water & instead of setting up the trough with dam & spacer and all that--you run it through it's cycle & pump the water out through the trough drain. You run the level all the way up to max, and each time the process goes to a new step, you hit "step" to skip over the wash cycles or to move through the tanks to go back & strat over again. It's kind of a pain, and can take awhile...there's also a way to disconnect those heaters & such (you have to go into the back of the machine-- into the guts), but you need to be really careful not to pump the tanks dry or below that bottom line. Don't overfill either. I've siphoned chemistry out of them too, but this is a real PIA and you need to be careful of the heater probes etc. The thing to remember is that the machine is always on. It sits there 24/7 ready to process. So you can't really turn it on to mess around with it without having it hooked up or parts of it disconnected.
.fwiw, I don't think you'll ever get them totally cleaned. It might not matter if they're stained really--as long as the crap doesn't contaminate the fresh solution or come off and get pumped into the trough, you'll probably be okay. Processors get really nasty after a couple of years in use, they never look as good as they do brand new.
Sorry--I've only done E6 in them, so I can't be of much help on the b&w...we do b&w in a deeptank with TMAX RS, but I don't think that would be too hot (would be hot actually) in a WL, unless you could slow it down somehow by dilution or messing with the pH. There is a small processor called a Super Sidekick--Phototherm makes these--you could see what they recommend. XTOL might be a good one too, it's just that it's going to be continuously agitated, and the tanks themsleves are large--so you can't fill them up with something that's going to go bad quickly--the nitrogen will keep the solutions good, but eventually they crap out--you need to plan on trying to use them ASAP or using at least a gallon or so a week, so you can "top off" the tanks with fresh chemsitry.
I guess it would depend on what temp the tanks are set at and time you feel comfortable with though. I guess you got the right tube sets, trough dam, process cards etc.?? Do you have a water panel yet? The machine has a backup battery that probably needs to be checked out, and those tank seals need to be changed periodically along with the trough dam--these rubber parts crap out and cause leaks and oxidation problems. The only other thing I can think of offhand is that for b&w, I guess theoretically if the ambient room temp were too high, you might need a water chiller or the cooling exchange units they make to hold the temps down low enough. This isn't a problem of course with C41...
they're great machines though, so good luck with it.